On Saturday, 16 February 2019, in a spirit of devotion and sacred joy, our Archbishop, Metropolitan Basilios, with the reverend clergy of our archdiocese, and a large number of our congregation from all of our churches came together to celebrate the consecration of Sts. Peter & Paul church in Doonside, Sydney.
The service began with Matins, followed by the blessed prayers of consecration. The clergy and believers then made a continuous procession with holy relics of the forty martyrs of Sebaste around the outside of the newly consecrated church, followed by the reading of the Epistle and Gospel at the entrance before proceeding with the holy relics into the church. The holy relics were placed inside the Holy Table which was then washed and anointed by His Eminence and the clergy.
The sacred tradition continued with the anointing of the church’s four main inner side walls with holy myrrh before the oil lamps of the holy table were lit while the great doxology was chanted. The Divine Liturgy ensued to conclude the service of consecration. [continued below]
His Eminence, Metropolitan Basilios, thanked the parish priest of Sts Peter and Paul, Rev Fr Aziz, as well as the current and previous parish council for their tireless efforts and patience throughout the building of this holy temple. His Eminence also thanked all who had helped or donated, whether discreetly or indiscreetly, and he prayed for the memory of those who built this holy house to be eternal.
All the faithful participants then gathered in the hall downstairs for a meal of Agape which was prepared by the parish council and ladies association of Sts Peter and Paul church. In attendance was the mayor of Blacktown, Mr. Stephen Bali MP, who spoke a few words to honour the contribution to community and service that such a temple of Christ and its believers offers a district. To conclude the celebration, a cake was cut as a commemoration of this blessed and joyful occasion.
The consecration of any church is always a historic and commemorative day in the history of the timeline of an Archdiocese and its people. Particularly when so many churches are being defiled and persecuted around the world. The consecration of Sts Peter and Paul church in our own homeland is a beacon of hope and inspiration to continue to seek the home of our Lord as our refuge from the snares of the world outside of it. May Sts Peter and Paul church and her faithful continue to thrive and build upon its foundations through the mercy and blessings of Christ our Lord.